Home Expat Essays What Else Is Out There? By Ela Vasilescu

What Else Is Out There? By Ela Vasilescu


Bio: Ela is a Romanian native that has made Florence her home for the past four years with her husband and daughter. She published two books in Romania and is currently translating her works into English and working on some new writing projects. You can read her blog here: www.ela.timmistudio.com








Four years ago I moved to Florence. The city of my dreams and undying inspiration that had robbed me of my heart and soul on my first visit, ten years ago. When I came here I was really looking forward to spending time alone, without any friends or family intruders as I was invaded with their everyday problems back home. One of their greatest issues was relationships and love matters. I’ve married my high school sweetheart so I guess it’s safe to say that I’ve been in a relationship since forever. For that reason, I have heard over the years that: “poor little” me never got the chance to know and explore all that’s out there, but then again the voices saying that, are in their 30s, unmarried and  desperate to find that “special someone”. During their struggles and despairs I have enjoyed the funniest and the most unbelievable stories that convinced me just how much I was missing not being “out there”. I will share with you two of my favorites that I honestly think I will take with me to the grave and make the skeletons laugh in full moon nights.

The first one is about a guy and a girl on their first date. So, guy invites girl on their first date at a wedding. She accepts, although of course she would be extremely nervous for meeting all of his friends and being strictly on his territory. So she dresses up, makes herself irresistible, puts the best starting phrases in her pocket and arrives there showing her best smile. She will meet his friends (of course they are strange and loud) and because she needs to make a good impression she will amuse herself when his best friend (that is a woman of course) will challenge him to a tequila shot contest. She will just smile and caress him even if he hasn’t said much to her the entire evening, but she has to admit he tried to be as attentive as one can be until almost passing out from all of those tequila shots. She will fake a laugh when he says he has to go and get more bottles of tequila (his female best friend is a heavy drinker) just because he can’t let her win. She will calmly get into her car and search for him when he doesn’t come back to the party for more than an hour and she will gently pick him up from the ditch he fell in (although he weights almost 240 pounds) with the tequila bottles glued to his hands, put him in her car and obey him when he asks her to drive him to his friend’s house because he doesn’t want his mother to see him like that (yes, he lives with his mother). She will of course sleep besides him, in a strange house, seeing that he almost cries of shame and regret because of his behavior towards her and then he will faint in a deep sleep with all of his 240 pound on top of her. The next few weeks he would appreciate her kindness from that night so much that he would call every five minutes and leave tones of messages so that finally she will be obligated to say: “That’s it!”, and she will tell him that her dog has cancer and she cannot see him anymore seeing that the dog needs her undivided attention.

The second story I have heard from a local Florentine, my second year here, when I got tired of my loneliness and I started to crave for some problems to solve. She was 26 years old and was mastering in the arts of acting somewhere in Rome when she met him, apparently prince charming, 4 years younger than her. Their story seemed impossible at first as he was an American and soon had to leave back home for good. They postponed the moment of tragedy until it had to happen and lived their love story in a way that made the movie with the same name seem like a joke. Three month past like thunder in a storm and they were so happy and in love that have started to think about finding a solution for their soon to be distance issue. She didn’t know at the time that he was financially supported by his parents alone and believed him when he gazed into her eyes showing off his big American smile and told her she could be a movie star in his country, if only she would come. After many nights of torment and many phone calls in my direction have past, she decided to give it a chance. So she started packing, infuriated her parents with her decision and went to buy a ticket for the “American Dream”. She waited for him in the exact spot he said, at the exact time they’ve established, but he never came. She waited for three hours and after thousands of phone calls she admitted defeat and thought about how to putt the little pieces inside her back into their places. The next day an email arrived with his name on it. He wrote: “I’m crazy about you and feel as if my world will be an empty place without you, but it’s better this way. I would have hurt you despite the love I have for you because, my love, there’s something I never could tell you… I have a brain tumor so I won’t be around for you to love. Please do not look for me and try to move on as it would be the best thing to do. I love you, my one and last love.” Needless to say that after the shock of reading that she moved on with her life and discovered a year later a friend request on Facebook from who else than prince charming. I guess he forgot about his brain tumor story and to whom he said it to.

After these two stories that clearly are a piece of the reality that can be found “out there”, should I still be jealous and wish for some adventurous love life or should I settle for my boring (that’s what they think, I know better) married life?

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